Newsletter: July, 2007

Happy New (Fiscal Year)!

Happy New Year.. sort of! While most of us ponder thoughts of summer vacations, warm days ahead and a slightly slower pace-of-life, especially those of us in a university setting, we also look forward to the possibilities and challenges of the next fiscal year. Our budget clock was just “reset”. That means that UWEM will once again reactivating some activities and programs that were reduced or cut back due to lack of operational funds.

We were relieved that both our CERT and Business Continuity Management (BCM) programs were funded for an additional 12-months so that we can meet the continued demand for these popular services. We are also excited about the pending announcement this summer of relocation of the UW’s Emergency Operations Center. After nearly two decades of functioning in the old Bryant Building, the UW’s EOC will soon be moving to the new University Tower (aka SAFECO) complex. We hope to have a more detailed update in the September newsletter.

As the 2007-2008 fiscal year rolls out, our staff will continue to provide their excellent level of customer service and we hope to enhance our activities with new and innovative programs to truly meet our Vision: “A Disaster Resistant University as a Global Model for Other Institutions of Higher Learning”.

— Steve Charvat, CEM, Emergency Management Director

Campus Emergency Communications

In emergencies and disasters large or small, natural or human-caused, the need for effective and reliable communication is key to a successful response and outcome. President Emmert recently appointed an ad-hoc committee to address how we can improve communications throughout campus during an emergency — whether it is an earthquake, active shooter or terrorist attack, accidental hazardous chemical spill, or any other crisis.

This committee, chaired by Norm Arkans, Executive Director of Media Relations and Communications, along with UWEM, News & Information, C&C, UW Police, and other departments on campus, is investigating a variety of opportunities to build a robust and holistic emergency communication program including:

Expanding and/or enhancing existing systems already in place  working with building coordinators to be a point of contact during emergencies; mass notification systems utilizing email and phone messaging; dedicated department phones for emergency use, UWIN alerts

Accelerating projects currently underway  outdoor siren or public address systems; mass assembly areas

New opportunities and technologies  instant messages on MySpace or Facebook; text messaging to cellphones.

Stay tuned for more developments on this hot topic!

— Clarice Nakata-Hall, Special Projects Manager

Are You Ready?

Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere and sometimes without warning. Being ready for a disaster is part of maintaining your family’s and your peace of mind. If you are prepared ahead of time, you will be better able to cope with the disaster and recover from it quickly.

Countless number of personal experiences have shown that there are easy steps one can take to be better prepared. Here are three examples:

1)Store minimum three gallons of water per person. Store water in plastic containers, such as soft drink bottles. Avoiding containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles.

2)Keep a pair of sturdy shoes by your bed side. This protects your feet from debris and shards.

3)Establish an Out-of-Area contact person, and a disaster meeting location if your family and you cannot return home. Local phone systems may be shut down in a disaster. However, you frequently can place a long-distance call. Also you may be able to text short messages on your cell phone.

It is important for everyone to be prepared to meet his or her own basic needs.

— Elenka Jarolimek, CEM, EM Specialist


The Burke Museum is applying for federal funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency Hazard Mitigation Grant Program “December 2006 Severe Storm” (FEMA-1682-DR-WA), which is administered by the state of Washington Emergency Management Division. Local funds will be used as a match if the project is approved. The 2007 UW Hazard Mitigation Plan identifies the need to seismically retrofit the Museums collection shelving units.

We invite you to share ideas and comments via regarding potential projects and alternatives to address the seismic hazards in the Ethnology and Geology divisions.

We propose a project to reduce the potential hazards to staff and visitors in the museum during an earthquake event and to reduce the potential of damage to the ethnographic and geological collections. The project would achieve these goals through replacement of the deficient storage structures and removal of partial height CMU walls. New code compliant collection storage structures in the Ethnology and Geology collections joint workspace storage areas would be capable of withstanding a Seismic Zone 4 code level earthquake without failure and have additional capacity to provide the best protection and security for the valuable ethnographic and geological collections from damage due to seismic activity. During this period, the Ethnology and Geology collections would be closed to public access.

We welcome your comments; all comments must be received by Friday, July 6, 2007. Please send written comments to UWEM box 351275 Seattle, WA 98195, or call (206) 897-8000.

— Elenka Jarolimek, CEM, EM Specialist

Prep Tip: Automatic Deposit

Pay-Check Continuity. That concept is near and dear to all our hearts. Many people live on a Just-In Time paycheck schedule with their personal finances. Given the cost of living in the current economy, this is very understandable. What is important to remember is to take the necessary steps to ensure that those pay checks keep rolling in.

The easiest way to do that is to sign up for automatic deposit. Having automatic deposit for your paycheck means that your income stream is protected by the business continuity efforts of the University, their bank and your bank to make every effort to have those funds in your account, on-time, no matter what.

A paper check, while a nostalgic nod to a simpler time of Norman Rockwell prints, homemade lemonade and apple pie on Grandmas porch, is far too easy to intercept, destroy, lose or have stolen. More importantly, the preferred delivery method of all paper checks is by some form of mail. These checks are printed just prior to their being mailed. This system requires several components to work, all of which represent points of failure that are less robust than that of an automatically deposited pay system. If the mail is not functioning, if you are not at work, if the worksite is closed unexpectedly or the printer fails, then your paycheck could be delayed.

In the aftermath of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, many employers had pay checks, but could not deliver them to their employees, because the employees were not home or the mail service was not running. Even if the paychecks had arrived, there wouldve been no way to cash them. Those employees with automatic deposit DID receive their paycheck funds to their accounts, due to the 24x7 redundancies inherent in the financial and IT systems of their employers and financial institutions.

We encourage everyone to participate in the use of automatic deposit. Any questions about automatic deposit should be referred to UW Payroll or your departmental payroll coordinator.

— Scott Preston, UW Business Continuity Manager

UW-CERT 2007-2008 Activity

After an unsuccessful bid to be added to the base operating budget for Emergency Management, funding for UW-CERT was granted a 12 month extension by the Office of the Executive Vice-President. Here is our general plan for UW-CERT over the next 12 months:

o Continue UW-CERT basic training by offering training once per quarter, starting in August (dates TBD).

o Produce and distribute ID cards for volunteer CERT members.

o Support UW-CERTs efforts to continue to help with emergency response operations at UW Husky Football Games for Fall 2007.

o Continue to partner with King County Search and Rescue to offer free advanced training to UW-CERT members at the Fall SAR Academy.

o Participate in a joint PEAT-CERT drill.

o Complete the reorganization of the UW-CERT team and leadership positions to be more NIMS compliant.

o Get State recognition of CERT volunteers as State Registered Volunteer Emergency Workers through issuance of individual DEM registration numbers for each member of CERT who does not already have one.

o Work with the CERT steering committee to develop and introduce an annual minimum volunteer hours requirement to ensure a higher level of skills, knowledge and abilities retention, in compliance with provisions of the WAC.

o Encourage participation and partnership between UW-CERT and other jurisdictions on training and exercises, particularly through the annual NW CERT Expo.

As you can see, we are as busy as ever with making UW-CERT the best it can be to serve the University and the public in times of need.

— Scott Preston, UW Campus Emergency Response Team Coordinator

Annual Internal Emergency Prepardness Grants Due Soon

UW Emergency Management will again be providing a limited number of short-term, one time emergency management and homeland security grants to internal UW departments and operating units. These annual UW funds will be provided to support internal programs that improve the overall emergency preparedness efforts for the campus community.

While there is no formal open application period (projects can be submitted year round), all completed applications must be received by the UWEM by September 1st of each year in order to be considered for the remainder of the fiscal year. All approved projects will be posted on the UWEM website and projects must completed by June 30th of the following year.

For more information, please contact the UW Emergency Management at (206) 897-8000 or go to our website and click on Disaster Grants.

— Dede Hough, Fiscal Specialist

Annual UWEM Balanced Scorcard Results Posted

We are excited by the high-level of success by members of our Team,” stated UWEM Director Steve Charvat. “Being a small department, we rely on the efforts and support by many other UW units, departments and members of our Emergency Management Planning Commmittee, to ‘get the job done’!”

Beginning in July 2007, UWEM staff and its partners will begin to review the next year’s tracking and measurement metrics and suggest changes.

For more information on all the good things we accomplished, go to the UWEM Homepage at and find the “Balanced Scorecard” at the bottom left menu bar.

— Your UWEM Team